Apology…Rejected (Part Two)
By Michael-Louis Ingram, Editor
(first presented August 14, 2008)
PHILADELPHIA (BASN/BASN NEWSROOM)-– In our first two segments, the rush to judgment involving Black athletes and Black people, Black issues have always been consistently negative and persistently consistent.
When our government whispered an apology for centuries of slavery and segregation, it should’ve been an all-consuming Kodak moment; instead, it was an afterthought with the proviso to make these niggers know there will no recompensing monies to any Black person.
The American government has gone out of its way to apologize to others for dirty deeds done unto them with the exception of Black Americans. This endeavor further cheats all human beings of their dignity by the act itself and the apathy (or planned silence) in attempting to stifle any efforts to encourage a sensible platform for garnering reparations.
To get some further insight on this “cheat sheet” the American government has laid on us, the Sports MCs went long distance to Hawai’i to gain some light from our favorite Extreme Sista, Ms. Rhonda Harper:
“Aloha, Guys! The third week of August marks the admission of Hawaii to the union. As a new resident of Hawai’i, I cannot begin to tell you the effects of Hawai’i officially joining the United States.
“Let’s have a short history lesson. There was a bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan which was the initial entry of the United States into World War II.
“Then in 1887, under the influence of Walter M. Gibson, a group of primarily American and European businessmen, including kingdom subjects and members of the Hawaiian government forced King KalÄkaua to sign the derisively nicknamed “Bayonet Constitution” which stripped the king of administrative authority, eliminated voting rights for Asians and set minimum income and property requirements for American, European and native Hawaiian voters, essentially limiting the electorate to wealthy elite Americans, Europeans and native Hawaiians.
“King Kalakaua reigned until his death in 1891. His sister, Liliuokalani (LiliÊ»uokalani), succeeded him to the throne and ruled until her overthrow in 1893.
“In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani announced her plans to establish a new constitution that would have replaced the so-called “Bayonet Constitution” that was established during the reign of King Kalakaua by American and European residents under threat of violence.
“The new constitution would have restored much power to the monarchy, but this was opposed by business elites. On January 14, 1893, a group of Americans and Europeans formed a Committee of Safety in opposition to the Queen, and overthrew the monarchy.
“United States Government Minister John L. Stevens, concerned for the safety of American citizens and in response to a request from the Committee of Safety, summoned the U.S. Marines to come ashore to calm the situation. This would give the Hawaiian monarchy no recourse except to concede to the US demands.
“The U.S. has since apologized for this injustice. No reparations have been given to the native Hawaiian as of yet. The Royal Government of Hawaii has established its claim on the country in hopes that the US will return the land once taken, to its rightful owners.
“Did anyone hear that? I just found out. No mainland press picked up on the story and ran with it, but Paris Hilton was probably the top story at the time.
“Native American — Let’s not even go there.
“So now we cut to July, 2008, and an apology that should have been heard around the world was issued by Congress. Did you hear me? Is anyone out there? The United States government apologized for 400 years of slavery. I could give you the back history of slavery in the US, but if you are alive and not in a vegetative state of mind, you already know what happened.
“Remember “Roots” by Alex Haley? Maybe not let’s go over this quickly. Kunta Kinte, a young African male was out one day minding his own business and the next thing he knew, he was on a ship shackled with about 20,000 other stolen Africans. Remember that? I do. I lived through the humiliation of the 1970s when you couldn’t walk down the street without being called a “nigger”.
“I lived in Kansas City Kansas where someone thought it was ok to drive a Mustang through our living room because we were the only blacks living in a white neighborhood. I was called a trouble maker by white nuns because I fist fought with every white person that called me a “nigger” in my school. That was just my childhood. I won’t begin to explore my adult life.
“As for the apology for the Jim Crow Era, anyone that has read an article on mine knows that I had to correct a wrong in Santa Monica, California with the once segregated Inkwell Beach.
“If you do not know, Inkwell Beach was a 200 sq. ft. stretch of beach roped off by the city for blacks. No one other minority BUT blacks. Santa Monica has since erected a beautiful plaque in memory of those beach patrons. Other states throughout the union have issued apologies for their part in racial segregation.
“Back to present, did NBC, CNN, FOX News, Jerry Springer, um…Inside Edition, Access Hollywood actually consider the apology newsworthy? I don’t think so. The only way I knew it went down was a link on Yahoo News. The article was about 3 paragraphs long.
“Where was the elite American press? Why are the Olympics getting more press than the most egregious event in the history of mankind? Who is my brother’s and sisters’ keeper?
“Why is so important to round the clock news coverage on OJ Simpson? Ok, maybe I went too far. His car chase was hilarious, I watched the whole thing.
“Congress you apologized, even though five people actually heard it, you did. Now what? Reparations? The “truth” about black history actually included into our children’s schoolbooks? You interned the Japanese during World War II, like they weren’t even human, but at least you gave them some change to keep them quiet.
“What are you going to do about African – Americans and native Hawaiians? You started it. Now finish it, the right way. You can’t erase the pain you caused but you can make it better for our next generations. You figure it out. I’ll wait.
Mahalo, Sis. As always you come hard and tight like shooting the Banzai Pipeline.
Meanwhile, back at the Olympics, as the “Redeem Team,” the Men’s Olympic Basketball Team goes about its business, the media jackals lay in wait, hoping for a slip – up. Rest assured if the desired result is not achieved, they will be just niggers again – instead of our “Olympic niggers.”
This time, at least, they’ll say it to their faces through code language, where euphemisms abound to imply animalistic instead of human; natural reaction instead of superior sport intellect.
Just as former Dallas Cowboy lineman Erik “Black Diamond” Williams explained in Part I, there is an undercurrent of resentment and jealousy among many who cover these young men and women.
Because these athletes have the potential to make far more money than those writing about them will see in several lifetimes.
One of the MCs’ favorites – as athlete and human being – is basketball’s Allen Iverson. Our MC Good Foot, Wendell Simpson, mentioned that during his stay in football – mad Chelsea, U.K., Allen Iverson’s jersey was the most popular non – soccer jersey by far in Olde London Towne.
What makes Iverson such a down brother? Chris Murray – drops this tidbit on us…
“Fellas, and Rhonda — If ever there was a case of the mainstream media jumping the gun and proclaiming a Black athlete guilty before he was tried by the criminal justice system, it had to be back in 2002, in which former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson was accused of breaking into an apartment with a gun while searching for his wife following a domestic dispute.
“The judge in the case dropped all the felony charges against Iverson in the case. Iverson was charged with two misdemeanor counts of making terroristic threats and that was eventually dropped as well.
“As I recall back in 2002, the local sports talk radio stations in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. had Iverson guilty even before he had a hearing in court. I distinctly hearing people refer to him as a “thug.”
“The late Ralph Wiley, a columnist at ESPN.com at the time, was a guest on CNN’s Reliable Sources and said the police would not have looked into the case if Iverson wasn’t a superstar athlete and he implied that there was some race baiting:
“Come on, it’s a domestic case. Even the police wouldn’t have wanted to look into this case. The only reason we looked into this case is because Allen Iverson can easily be made into political referendum and that’s exactly what this case became.
“Either you’re young or you’re not young. Either you agree with the symbolism of hip-hop, of tattoos; embrace the culture or you don’t. It’s either one or the other and that’s what this case was about, not about the legal charges because there was never anything — I mean you really to say that he either threw his wife out of the house naked or half naked, I mean you’re taking a stretch there, Howard (WIP Talk Radio Ass Crumb Eskin), really.
“I mean, none of this has been proven. None of this has been admitted, that he had a gun. I mean these charges were NBA charges, nothing but air. It was — the whole case was specious except for the fact that it was Allen Iverson who people either have a very warm reaction to or a very cold reaction to.”
“When all the facts in that case came out and Iverson was exonerated, the talk radio hosts refused to acknowledge that they jumped the gun. In Washington, one radio pundit claimed it was Iverson’s “history” of trouble that made it easy for everyone to rush to judgment.
“Back in Philadelphia, it got ugly. WIP’s Howard Eskin claimed on air that Iverson’s attorney Ed Sprague paid a witness to lie in court and that Sprague spread a false rumor that another witness failed a lie detector test even though he knew what he (Eskin) was saying was not true.
“WIP was ultimately sued by Sprague and as a part of the settlement, Eskin was suspended by the station for 30 days and Infinity Broadcasting had to compensate Sprague. WIP was forced to broadcast an apology eight times over a four-day period. Eskin had to issue a written apology to Iverson’s attorney.
“I apologize to Mr. Sprague and his family for making false statements that disparaged his reputation,” Eskin said. “I also apologize for not correcting the record for over two years, and, instead doing so only after Mr. Sprague sued me.”
“But there was no apology to Iverson and his family for people convicting him before he had his day in court.”
Next Time: You want reparations? Well, so do we; the Sports MCs — Michael-Louis Ingram and Wendell P. Simpson — are front and center in our next installment, “True Confessions.”